November 16, 2023 – A total of 295 volunteers from 25 barangays have completed the 3-day Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) last Nov. 14, a flagship program established in 2015 by then City Mayor Monico O. Puentevella. Conducted in eight batches between December 2022 and September 2023, the said training included specialized sessions on Inland Water Search and Rescue (WASAR).
Funded through the Disaster Preparedness Program of the City’s DRRM Fund, the initiative’s goal is to equip one emergency responder per Bacolodnon family, creating a robust “first line of defense” for barangays in times of crisis. Covering essential skills in disaster preparedness, first aid, life support, fire and water rescue, and mental health awareness, CERT graduates now serve as community-level emergency responders.
Furthermore, Bacolod City Mental Health Care Center City Psychiatrist Dr. Romeo Drcajada, Jr. conducted a talk on Mental Health Awareness named as “Ginakapoy Na Gid Ko Ya” that concluded with Mental Health assessment of all the CERT completers.
Marking the successful conclusion of the program, the graduation ceremony held was attended by Bacolod City Councilors Pao Sy, Kalaw Puentevella, and Thaddy Sayson. Moreover, the training team, composed of experts from DRRMO, Bacolod City Police Office, Bacolod City Fire Station, Coast Guard Station Northern Negros Occidental, and private volunteer organizations, played a crucial role in the success of the program.
(Source: Bacolod City Public Information Office)